AM I alone in thinking the world would be a better place if we could turn the sound down?

Life today seems incredibly noisy and sometimes all some of us want is escape to a quiet desert island.

It’s not just roadworks, motorbikes or loud revving of engines that can upset noise-sensitive souls but just the everyday pitch of living seems to have got much noisier.

People think nothing of having loud mobile phone conversations in the street, in shops or on the bus. For some reason, they believe that we are all fascinated by what they’re having for tea, how their day has gone and what plans they have for their social life.

Even the dedicated “quiet” carriages on trains always attract at least one idiot who insists on sharing his life with the rest of the world. It’s not like they don’t speak at top volume. In fact, they probably don’t even need a phone; just get on the train roof and shout.

I’m convinced that all this loud talking on phones also prevents people from recognising when they’re shouting generally. I know several people who sound like they’re having a heated argument with someone when, in fact, they are having a normal conversation.

However, what really gets me annoyed are the differing levels on the TV. I think most of us accepted a long time ago that the sound on the adverts is turned up by the TV companies. It’s probably in their contracts, a certain number of decibels bought along with the air-time.

But if you channel-hop, you swiftly find that most of them adopt a sound system unlike the one before. As a result, you have to keep pressing the sound button up and down to accommodate this. It could lead to a worrying case of Viewer’s Thumb, which is probably already an industrial disease.

Of course, all this fails to take into account the noise levels acceptable to individual viewers and, in most households, this may vary with age. Younger viewers tend to prefer the sound high. Middle-aged viewers seem to want it medium-ish and many older viewers like it very high.

Trying to accommodate a room full of mixed ages is a logistical nightmare.

Many people also seem to think that it’s fine to shout to each other in the street – especially late at night, coming out of the pub. There’s often no thought for people sleeping in their homes, they just focus on having a chat across the road. Grrrrrr!

Life does seem much easier now, though, for people with loud voices who can be heard above, say, the noise in the pub. Possessing a low-pitched voice, I’ve always envied those with stentorian tones whose demands could be heard above the noise of a 747 never mind a bar full of people.

I’ve tried going for shrill instead but it’s not a pretty effect. Rather like a petulant cat.

Perhaps going for a silent method of communication is the answer. Semaphor anyone?